An Earth Day Celebration

An Earth Day Celebration

Composer: Susan T. Nelson
Octaves Handbell:  5
Octaves Handchimes: 3  (+opt. F#3)
Level: 3

The recording is courtesy of The Oklahoma City Handbell Ensemble, Venita McGorman, director.

Click here to listen/watch on our Youtube channel

Click here to view the live performance



This original composition, commissioned by the Oklahoma City Handbell Ensemble, is written in Native American style, sound, and philosophy – which includes the belief that …. “the earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth.” It is written in F# pentatonic minor because it is said that Native Americans believe the earth resonates in that key.  A new bell technique – Stirred Bells (StB) – was designed specifically for this work and first appears along with Singing Bell, native drum, randomly rung handchimes, and flute. The haunting melody rung by both handbells and handchimes is supported by the lyrical and flowing LV bass line and creates a peaceful and ethereal mood. 

Ideally, a Native American flute and drum will be used; however, one could use a recorder or a transverse flute and any single-headed drum. The ‘spoken chorus’ can be the ringers – or a few other people… performance options abound!  Performance notes are included.

Octave Ranges
5 Octaves
Original composition
School and Youth
Secular - general usage
Level of Difficulty
Level 3
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